Debra (Krein) Long began her study of dance at the age of 5 with the Alice O’Bryan School of Dance in Brownsville, Texas. She went on to study ballet (Cecchitti and Balanchine methods), jazz, tap, and character with the Ballet Academy of Katherine Clark in El Paso, Texas, where she was a student for 10 years. Katherine Clark studied in New York at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet and danced professionally with companies such as the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Fokine Russian Ballet, and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
As a student of Katherine Clark, Debra danced in performances of Serenade, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker and participated in master classes presented by artists of the San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet. She attended intensive summer dance workshops under Premier Danseur Victor Moreno, artistic director of the Ballet Classico de Mexico and the Dallas Ballet Theatre; and Nathalie Krassovka (Leslie), principal dancer for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the London Festival Ballet, where she performed with the Krassovska Ballet Jeunesse. At the age of 17 she placed second in the National Society of Arts and Letters Career Awards Ballet Competition with her pointe performance of the Don Quixote variation. She performed in the summer outdoor musical theatre productions of Oklahoma! and Texas at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Amarillo, Texas, and danced professionally in El Paso Civic Theatre productions, including My Fair Lady and Cabaret. In her late teens and early twenties, she taught classical ballet to students of the Ballet Academy of Katherine Clark.
Debra graduated with honors from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas with a B.S. in Physical Education, Major in Dance. There she trained in the Vaganova method of classical ballet with Peggy Willis-Aarnio, and in modern, contemporary, character, and jazz with Diana Moore, Director of Dance at TTU. She danced in performances of Graduation Ball, Coppelia, Gaite Parisienne, and many others presented by the Texas Tech Dance Division. She was the recipient of the Texas Tech Dance Achievement Award for outstanding performance for two consecutive years, and was elected into the Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honor Society. While a student at TTU she took master classes from many guest artists, and was a company dancer with Lubbock Civic Ballet (now Ballet Lubbock) and Kristina Gintautiene’s Revolving Dance Company. She also taught classical ballet to children and young adults for the Adventure in the Arts after-school program.
After a long hiatus, Debra is thrilled to be teaching dance at EDF. Debra’s goal is to instill in her students a love of the discipline and beauty of classical ballet, and the pure joy of dance itself that she has experienced for many years.